Four arrested as half tonne of £40m cocaine seized on Humberside

Four men have been arrested by UK’s National Crime Agency officers investigating the attempted importation of cocaine with a potential street value of around £40m.

The men were detained on suspicion of conspiracy to import class A drugs at around 8.30am on May 4 in Lelley, Humberside, following a NCA operation which was supported by Humberside Police, the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit and Border Force.

It follows the seizure of around 500 kilos of cocaine found in the back of a Vauxhall Vivaro van in the car park of the Stags Head Inn.

It is believed that the drugs had been transferred from a larger vessel sailing off the coast of Hull using a RHIB a few hours before. The smaller boat was found abandoned on rocks at Easington Beach.

The men remain in custody and are now being questioned by NCA investigators. They are a 22-year-old from Argyll, a 32-year-old from Oban, a 24-year-old from Campbeltown and a 39-year-old from Colombia.

NCA Senior Investigating Officer Alan French said: “This was a significant amount of cocaine and its seizure will be a sizeable blow to the organised crime group which attempted to smuggle it into the UK.

“There’s no doubt these drugs would have been sold into communities around the UK, fuelling further crime and exploitation.

“Working with our law enforcement partners we are determined to do all we can to disrupt criminal activity, and protect the UK’s border security.

“Our investigation continues following these arrests.”